It was a very busy holiday season with just the right amount of downtime. I was able to get the crafting done that I needed to (a cross stitch for Hubby's office wall and a couple other things for assorted extended family members) , the school session ended well. I took the kids out of school an afternoon early so they could build a gingerbread house to kick off the vacation. Turned out to be quite structurally unsound, so it was demolished and consumed quite quickly.
It was an odd Christmas Eve for us this year, the first in years that Hubby wasn't leading a service in the evening. So we shovelled snow and went sledding. Attended the late service at the congregation here in town, and spent some time looking at lights. We watched the live nativity pageant at the LDS church a few days prior to that and we all enjoyed that evening. It brought back some fum memories of participating in it as a youth when I was a teen and we talked with the children about the story and different interpretations of it.
Christmas day was early (naturally) and we played Sequence as a family, Kerplunk, Trouble, and did some painting, Lego building, food eating, and then went to the base chapel for a Christmas morning service that Hubby was leading. Came home, did more of the same, napped, and bundled off to Edmonton to have supper with some extended family on Hubby's mom's side. It is so nice to connect with family again! And getting to know better some of the extra cousins floating around the family tree.
Travel time saw us heading down to Vulcan for a few days to see Amma, connect with a good friend and her dog that we hadn't seen since last new years, and Uncle K and Aunt C. Then off farther south for my family visits, cards in Lethbridge at Uncle K and Aunt C's to bring in the New Year with another friend we hadn't seen in even longer. I think we figured out that Sergeant might have been a baby/toddler when we last saw him... way too long.
Taught some family members a few new games and learned some others. We learned a game called Chicken Foot that is hilarious, so we ended up buying a box of dominoes so we could play it at home. We have been playing lots of family games since our return too. 313 (which is a favourite that Hubby and his brother and sister in law taught me way back in the first year or so we were together), Sequence, Chicken foot. Hubby was brushing up on Cribbage and taught me, so we taught Smarty. He does well with it too. He loaded the game onto his phone and plays it a lot.
Last week I made pollo al ajillo for our trip to Spain. Wow, garlic! And wine! The recipe called for both sherry and port, and suggested serving it with French bread. So we did. It. Was. Delicious. And tomorrow we are going to Chile. I conversed with my youngest brother, who lived there for two years while serving a mission for his church, to get some suggestions for something authentic and I'm pretty excited. I've never made empanadas before. And I'll make a flan for dessert, which I've never done before either. Win or fail, I'll let you know either way!
Swimming lessons are in full swing. Monkey is going two mornings a week while the others are in school, team brown (brown eyes so Smarty and Girlie) are on Thursdays after school, and Sergeant is on Saturday mornings. It is fun watching them learn and gain confidence, especially Monkey since she is really still just starting to learn it all. We went for a family swim last Saturday and everyone had their new goggles and I think she spent most of her time with her face in the pool! "Mommy! I can see the floor!"
It is difficult to believe it's already nearly February. Thinking ahead to kindergarten registration for Monkey, grades 6, 4, and 2 for the others... where does the time go? Soon we'll start the birthdays again, and we've given explicit orders that there will be none this year. No one is allowed to age. They must stay the same size and age for a little bit longer. They just laugh and say they can't. That it's nature and science that makes it just happen. Sigh. !